1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Serious Madness - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Serious MadnessSerious Madness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

204 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 18
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: klewis on 02-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tfsimpkins
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

tfsimpkins, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance - Pours near opaque black with a tan, finger width head. Good retention, leaving behind a nice layer of microbubbles that coats the surface. Lacing is thin and sheeting before clumping into spots on the glass.

Smell - Predominantly earth on the aroma. Chocolate mocha. Faint floral hops.

Taste - Strong roasted malt character upfront and throughout. Bitterness comes through as baker's chocolate and moderate anise character. Milk chocolate sweetness hits mid-taste before a nice, balanced finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Creamy at first, then turns a touch chalky and dry on the finish.

Overall - I wouldn't categorize this as an American Black Ale (or Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, whathaveyou)... it drinks just like an Imperial Stout. In fact, I think it's been completely miscategorized here, and a perfect example of why I don't like that CDA's have been renamed American Black Ale. Black Ale is a generic term for any ale that's black in color, such as this. But it's nearly 75 IBU's you say? So what. Ten Fidy comes in at 98 IBUs. CDA is not only a more unique and less confusing term, but it also pays homage to that style's localized roots... but I digress. This is a solid all-around beer. Great balance. Wonderfully drinkable. Don't expect it to be a CDA, or 'ABA'. It's not.

TheSixthRing, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

artoolemomo, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of snohojimbo
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

snohojimbo, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev +1%

rabiddawg, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of durlta
4/5  rDev +1%

durlta, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +1%

Boone757, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of Vancoubeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Vancoubeer, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of jsteele
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

jsteele, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of DukeX13
4/5  rDev +1%

DukeX13, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev -2%

A - black with a big, thick, brown head that has great retention; some sediment floating in the dark liquid

S - very faint nose; some chocolate

T - chocolate, roasted malts, black licorice, dark fruit, faint citrus, mildly bitter

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This was a decent beer. It wasn't as hoppy as I was hoping, but the rich, complex maltiness was enough to keep me intrigued. The hops seem to get buried revealing only a slight citrusy undertone. Something a bit more bitter may have had a better chance against the depth of the malt. All in all, I did enjoy this beer, and I would recommend it to any fan of the style.

tdm168, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

A: center-pour into a nonic pint: opaque black body, dense head of rich tan foam, ample lacing

S: roasted bittersweet dark malts

T: flashes of anise over sweet malt, roasted bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee; earthy and herbal undercurrents

M: thick, chewy, bittering, crisp on the finish

O: I found this to be a very enjoyable beer, approaching a stout in character and an Imperial in strength.

Greywulfken, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of jucifer1818
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

jucifer1818, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of SamW
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

SamW, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Btr73
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Btr73, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +1%

csmartin6, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I can't find a bottling date, but the dust on the bottle neck tells me it wasn't bottled yesterday.

A - The black body is speckled with tiny cocoa colored floaters. A long-lasting finger of almond head sits on top. Good lacing.

S - Smells of rich chocolate, roasted malts, and marshmallow. Subtle and comforting aroma with little to no hops. Smells like a chocolate stout. The hops have faded from the nose if there ever were any. Nonetheless, it smells delicious.

T - Much more bitter than I would have expected from the aroma. Chocolate malts dance with bitter pine on the forefront. Some char on the back end with a lingering alcohol bite.

M - Nearly flat with a medium body.

O - I love this style and I rarely pass up an imperial black ale that I have not yet tried. This one was a bit disappointing. The aroma was very good, and the flavor decent, but the lack of carbonation ruined it for me. Without bottle dating, I won't grab this one again.

NoLeafClover44, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

t0rin0, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of aquatonex
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours pitch black with a small head that dissipates leaving a brown ring around the beer as well as a lacing, a single sheet of tiny bubbles. Smells like hot chocolate without the hot, chocolately, earthy, and slightly sweet. Taste is not as good as it smells, but still it good. Malts are dominant, thin chocolate flavor then changes to bitter and solid alcohol notes. The flavor starts off rich but thins out and leaves you wanting a bit more. Overall, a nice smelling decent tasting beer for the ABV.

aquatonex, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of Danny1217
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours black, letting very little light through. A small tan head with good retention.
Smells nice and roasty. Some nice earthy scents, but the roasted malts dominate.
Tons of flavor in this one. Roasted coffee, caramel, and a nice hoppy bite at the end. Almost like a stout with just a bit of an IPA character. It's got some bunch too, at 8.2% ABV. Full bodied, somewhat light carbonation.

This black ale gives sublimely self-righteous a run for its money as far as I'm concerned. Mad River has to be one of the most underrated breweries in the world.

Danny1217, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev +1%

Birdlegs, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of JMBSH
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

JMBSH, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +1%

iL0VEbeer, Jul 19, 2012
Serious Madness from Mad River Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.